Framing the Pleiades

Framing the Pleiades

November 19th, 2021, 2:20 a.m. local time

Several minutes after photographing the Orion Nebula on the morning of the November 2021 Lunar Eclipse, I briefly turned my telescope towards another of my favorite Winter deep sky objects – the Pleiades.  Whereas the nebula was to the left from my vantage of the Moon, the Pleiades were to the right and above.  Having been a while since I imaged this batch of stars, with little effort required, it seemed like a good choice, even in freezing temperatures.

The Pleiades are among my favorites because they look so good through my Dobsonian.  In truth, I do not think this image fully captures the experience.  These stars are a brilliant blue hue.  I attempted to slightly skew the color here, in an attempt to approximate the blue.  But what is captured are the multitude of stars, and the longer you observe, the more you see.

I sketched such an observation years ago, that you can see here.  Looking back on this night of November 19th, 2021, I realize only in hindsight that I did not “frame” the Pleiades as I had in my prior works, i.e. they were slightly off-center in this view.  Still, I managed to crop the image for a reasonable attempt to align this image with earlier images, for frame of reference.

Telescope and photography settings:

  • 254mm Dobsonian (homemade)
  • Exposure – not captured by NightCap
  • ISO – not captured by NightCap (approximately 800-1600)
  • Q70 32mm eyepiece (2.00″)
  • iPhone XS with NightCap app on eyepiece mount
  • Touchups in PaintShop Pro


I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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